MSNBC hosts spew an average of 21.5 hours of irrational hate during the typical 24-hour broadcast day, but the hate that Alec Baldwin and now Martin Bashir spewed recently have proven to be too much. Bashir on Nov. 15 reacted to a perfectly normal comment by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by saying that he wished someone would defecate in her mouth. Last week, he took some time off to reflect on his comments and hope the furor would die down. Today, he has resigned. Both he and the network have issued statements.
“After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around the Thanksgiving holiday. Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments. I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers – who are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences. I would also wish to express deepest gratitude to my immediate colleagues, and our contributors, all of whom have given so much of themselves to our broadcast.”
MSNBC’s audience is a bit like Spinal Tap’s, in that has become more selective. It’s neither compassionate nor discerning, at least if one judges them by the product they watch every day.
As for MSNBC topper Phil Griffin, the network president released his own statement crediting Bashir with the decision. “Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately,” he said. “I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague – we wish him only the best.”
So, for Martin Bashir, next stop Al Jazeera? Or will he get picked up as a columnist for the New York Times?